Vision and Ethos
The Anglican Church in Richmond is part of the world wide Anglican Communion.
As a community we are inspired by Jesus and his vision of abundant life. The heart of the Christian message is that Christ reveals the nature of God as perfect love and liberates us to share that love with others. As one previous Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey, said, "God is Christlike, in whom there is no unChristlikeness at all". Through the Spirit, in prayer and in community, we are drawn into the life of the Christlike God and given the grace to live with peace and joy in ways that we could not within our own strength and resources.
Before ordination, Robyn was a social worker in Sydney and overseas. She was ordained in Melbourne in 2006. After serving here for 8 years, Robyn took the position of Rector (Vicar) of the Atherton Tablelands Parish in far north Queensland. Retiring from there in late 2019, she moved back to Melbourne. Robyn loves travel, gardening, family history researching, and walking with her little dog.
Director of Music
Briar Goessi had an international career as a professional violinist for many decades working with orchestras including Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, State Orchestra of Victoria, Royal Opera House Covent Garden and London Symphony Orchestra. Her interest in the organ began as a student when she held a post as a church organist while studying violin and chamber music at the Conservatoire Royale de Bruxelles in Belgium.
Anish has been the office administrator since 2021. His passion for organisation now finds him performing numerous and varied tasks to keep St Stephen's Richmond running smoothly. An alumni of the Australian Boys Choir, he spends his free time as a freelance Tenor, singing around Australia with various choirs, churches, and as a soloist.
Community Listening and Engagement Coordinator
Michael is an Anglican Priest who has worked in Parish and University Chaplaincy. He also works part time as professional leadership coach and facilitator. Michael's book, "Practicing Peace: Theology, Contemplation, and Action" was published in 2022.
In 1850 when Bishop Perry, the first bishop of the new diocese of Melbourne laid the foundation stone of St Stephens on 20 June, Richmond was on the edge of Melbourne’s urban settlement. The site was described as “far out of town, and no human habitation could be seen except a few comfortable home nooks…and some brickmakers toiling in the distance…a pleasant suburban break in the surrounding forest.” There was no mention of Aboriginal people though their settlements were scattered along the Yarra valley. We have made a small symbolic rectification on this point in a ground-stone near the entrance, and commit ourselves to moving beyond symbolism and working towards deep listening to the voice and stories of the first people's of this land.
The acre of land had been donated by the Rev Joseph Docker (a generous squatter from the Wangaratta area) who had purchased at auction the land between the top of Richmond hill and the Yarra River. The Parish extended to Brighton, Camberwell and Doncaster. The only remnants of the original modest church are the roof and floor of the main body of the building, though within 25 years large additions had been added. However, the early days of the parish was not just about a building but also about building and strengthening the wider community of Richmond. And this close connection with local people has continued over the 170 years of the Parish.
To read a longer history of St Stephen's Anglican Church, click HERE.